Jersey’s new hospital is planned to include a full mental health unit, cancer services, a fresh food provision and a private patient facility that could bring in up to £3m a year.
The requirements for the new facility were shared in a briefing yesterday by the Clinical Director of the ‘Our Hospital’ project, Ashok Handa, shortly after the five shortlisted sites for the new hospital were revealed.
These are: St Andrew’s Park, People’s Park, Overdale, a group of fields to the north of Five Oaks in St Saviour, and Millbrook playing field (the Nightingale Wing’s current site) plus farm land north of the inner road in St Lawrence.
Although the site is yet to be decided, the ‘Our Hospital’ project team has already carried out research and reached conclusions on what exactly should be included in the facility and, broadly, how it should look.
According to Professor Handa, who was appointed last July, the pandemic has impacted the project group’s thinking around the future hospital design, and reinforced the need for it to be flexible and open.
Pictured: The current hospital site is not fit for purpose or able to cope with the demands of a pandemic.
He said that the current Gloucester Street-based hospital “would not fit today’s clinical and building standards”, noting that many of its corridors are “too narrow” to observe physical distancing, hosts outdated theatre spaces, and poses difficulties for infection control procedures due to the set-up of the wards.
The ambition is to therefore create a facility with 75% single ensuite rooms, as this will not only provide a “better patient experience”, but also is also better for infection control.
Each area of the hospital – whether administrative office space or clinical – should also be able to be easily converted to increase or decrease bed numbers as necessary.
Professor Handa also explained that the team hoped to incorporate a “complex cancer centre” to reduce the need for vulnerable patients to travel off-island to receive treatment.
He also noted that mental health will be at the “forefront” of thinking and that a full unit to replace Jersey’s ageing St. Saviour facilities is part of the plan.
Pictured: The 'Our Hospital' Clinical Director, Ashok Handa.
The new hospital should also include an “equipment library” onsite, comprising “well-looked after” medical apparatus for patient care that can easily be transported when needed. Currently, much equipment is stored across different sites, such as at Overdale, and has to be transported to the hospital when necessary.
An onsite kitchen providing fresh food is also high on the agenda to ensure recovering patients receive nutritional and high-quality meals at a point when they need it most. This facility would also provide meals for staff and visitors. This, it was pointed out, aligns to the Jersey Care Model’s nutritional strategy.
Beyond this, the team said they had also spotted an opportunity for the economy.
Around one third of the population are believed to have private insurance, leading the project team to conclude that a better provision of private healthcare services would help “keep the Jersey pound on Jersey”.
Asked by Express how much this could generate for the local economy, Professor Handa indicated that initial analysis by EY had suggested that a minimum of £1m a year in income could be achieved.
However, he noted that the figure is likely to actually be “three times as much”, as there may be even more islanders using private health services than the government is currently aware of.
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